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Thread: Vietnam War

  1. #1 Vietnam War 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Has anyone here read the Pentagon Papers?

    Does anyone still think the US were the good guys and that Ho Chi Min was the bad guy?


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  3. #2  
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    THe bad guys were the ones with guns, whichever side they were on.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I guess that means the American Revolution vs the British was also a case of bad guys on each side.

    At the risk of being politically incorrect I sometimes see the local population as the good guys.
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    Yep - sure was, I'm a against guns and weapons, I think if two countries fall out they they should put the political leaders in a ring and either they talk a solution or fight to the death. I don't suppose for one moment a philadelphia farmer had any particular grudge against an English one in the eighteenth century....
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  6. #5 Re: Vietnam War 
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Has anyone here read the Pentagon Papers?

    Does anyone still think the US were the good guys and that Ho Chi Min was the bad guy?
    You're asking the wrong question.

    Min was a pawn in a proxy war.

    Dulce et Decorum Est.
    Let me warm up first....don't want to pull a hammy.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    If you want to know more about Vietnam from an American perspective (pentagon) I suggest reading this...

    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel...gon/pent1.html


    I find it extremely interesting.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Although I realize it would be convenient to label Ho Chi Min as a pawn to justify a war against him and the people of Vietnam, I do not share your view.

    IndoChina was a French colony. Much like the US Colony that wanted independance from the Britsh Empire, IndoChina wanted independance from France colonial rule. At this point in time it is unlikely Ho Chi Min's peers were pawns, just as its unlikely that George Washington was a French pawn in a Struggle between England and France. In both cases the drive for independance was mainly local, and although one is better off making alliances with other powers to gain support it sometimes means but does not always mean the rebel leader is a pawn of this power.

    Unfortunately for those seeking independance, WW2 raged and japan invaded. But Ho was ready for them.

    "... Ho had built the Viet Minh into the only Vietnam-wide political organization capable of effective resistance to either the Japanese or the French. He was the only Vietnamese wartime leader with a national following, and he assured himself wider fealty among the Vietnamese people when in August September, 1945, he overthrew the Japanese . . . established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and staged receptions for in-coming allied occupation forces.... For a few weeks in September, 1945, Vietnam was-for the first and only time in its modern history-free of foreign domination, and united from north to south under Ho Chi Minh...."

    But the British and China then occupied the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which was divided (China north, british south) and then handed over back to the French without any concern for the local population (since the British would rather give it back to the French and by the same token assert colonial hegemony over their own colonies instead of starting to grant freedom and independance to colonies which could potentialy spread and undermine their own colonial dominion). "Through the fall and winter of 1945-1946, the U.S. received a series of requests from Ho Chi Minh for intervention in Vietnam; these were, on the record, unanswered."
    Not only did the US refuse to give an answer they supported returning the country to its former overlords "despite his lip service to trusteeship and anti-colonialism, F.D.R. in fact assigned to Indochina a status correlative to Burma, Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia: free territory to be reconquered and returned to its former owners".

    Ho Chi Min that had previously won independance even drawing a declaration similar to the US, had to start all over again fighting a colonial power that was sending foreign troops from another country or or another continent(French) into their own land. How many times will this guy have to fight for his countries freedom for pete's sake? Anyway, he boots the French out.

    But soon after its once again back to square one, with the US next in line.

    A Communist, Ho will obviously seek what ever support he can to yet again drive a foreign army(US) out of his homeland, but I dont think there is any indication that he was a "pawn" (or the puppet ruler of a facade regime answering to foreign masters) as you appear to imply.

    On the other hand, Bao Dai was clearly a puppet ruler, educated from childhood (educated at the lycée Condorcet and the Paris Institute of Political Studies), groomed and instated by the French, and supported by the UK and the US. While the Neopotistic Diem was prefered as a puppet ruler by the US (instead of using someone else's puppet leader you want your own of course).
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    As with any other thing one can discuss, I believe the situation was more complicated then it first appears. Vietnam was politically split between North and South - the North wanting communism and the South wanting a democracy. Not sure about this... but I believe the North wanted to unite all of VN but I think the South was content having the country split, similar to what Korea is now. Of course, there were individuals from the South that sided with the communists (Viet Cong), and I'm not sure, but I would guess there were Northerners that probably didn't really care either way. And many VC from the South, after the war, found that their Northern "compadres" didn't really share the same idea of communism that they had invisioned - it didn't turn out smelling like roses for the VC.

    My personal feeling... the US probably could have "helped" the South with supplies and such, but no boots on the ground. Let the brothers fight it out - civil war style.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. :wink:

    Cheers,
    william

    P.S. It's Ho Chi Minh - not 'Ho Chi Min.'
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Vietnam was politically split between North and South
    but I believe the North wanted to unite all of VN but I think the South was content having the country split,
    If your read the Pentagon's own description of historical events

    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel...gon/pent1.html

    you might consider, the possiblility, that Ho Chi Minh liberated the whole of Vietnam from the Japanese and that he happened to think Communism was the way to go (of course with hindsight we know its not as great as advertized but he didnt know that). And the reason there was a North and South vietnam is because extenal powers imposed this artifical division on Vietnam and placed into power in the South a puppet regime, initially handpicked by the French (someone that was tought in Paris) and then someone supported by the US.


    Code:
    North wanting communism and the South wanting a democracy.
    You appear oppose two things that are not in the same category as if they are antonyms.

    Communism is not synonymous with Dictatorship and Capitalism is not synonymous with Democracy. Communism and Capitalism (and Socialism) are types of economic systems, while Dictatorship and Democracy are political systems.

    You can have a democratic communist society (Kibutz? Communes) and have a Capitalist Dictatorship (The various Banana Republic supported by the US).

    According to some, since WW1 the US was never as 'Democratic' as it's people are thought to beleive, but in recent years it appears to be slipping further and further into a despotic Orwellian Plutocracy.

    Here's a 1946 video thats amusing by its dated vintage look but a chilling when you realize the implication of its content (which makes you realize how much democracy has been loosing ground since the video was made)...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfrQalpmdqk

    P.S. It's Ho Chi Minh - not 'Ho Chi Min.'
    Noted

    Cheers
    Icewendigo :wink:
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Hi Ice,


    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    ... And the reason there was a North and South vietnam is because extenal powers imposed this artifical division on Vietnam and placed into power in the South a puppet regime, initially handpicked by the French (someone that was tought in Paris) and then someone supported by the US.
    True, but however it got that way, once there, what does one do? I say let them figure it out for themselves.


    Code:
    North wanting communism and the South wanting a democracy.
    You appear oppose two things that are not in the same category as if they are antonyms.

    Communism is not synonymous with Dictatorship and Capitalism is not synonymous with Democracy. Communism and Capitalism (and Socialism) are types of economic systems, while Dictatorship and Democracy are political systems.

    You can have a democratic communist society (Kibutz? Communes) and have a Capitalist Dictatorship (The various Banana Republic supported by the US).
    Noted. Woops.


    A book I read that you might also enjoy is this one;

    http://www.amazon.com/Vietcong-Memoi.../dp/0394743091

    It was written by a former member of the National Liberation Front (VC) who later became a political figure in VN. He eventually fled VN to France though and tells why Communism (and specifically, the North's version of it) wasn't for him.

    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    It was written by a former member of the National Liberation Front (VC) who later became a political figure in VN. He eventually fled VN to France though and tells why Communism (and specifically, the North's version of it) wasn't for him.
    Yeah, sometimes revolutions that had understandable reasons for throwing out oppressive regimes or foreign rulers get highjacked by the most fanatical, like the revolution that overthrew the Shah, Iran's despotic dictator who had deposed the elected government before him (with US/UK support on behalf of Oil corporations), was eventually highjacked by Islamists and thus became the Islamic Revolution. Not quite as bad as the shah's regime before it (from the iranian's perspective) but much worst than the initial democratic government that was elected before the whole mess began.

    I will take a look at that VC text when I get a chance.

    My own personal fetish book is 'War is a Racket' by Smedley Butler.
    http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/ar...risaracket.htm

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